The deadline to apply for the second round of Erie Arts & Culture's Emergency Financial Assistance Fund is Tuesday, March 31 at 11:59 PM.
On 3/18, Erie Arts & Culture announced the establishment of the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund to benefit creative or cultural professional experiencing financial hardship. Through this grantmaking program, creative and cultural professionals, which includes artists of all disciplines, who have experienced a disruption to their income stream as a result of an emergency or crisis can request up to $500 in assistance from Erie Arts & Culture. Awarded funds are expected to be used to assist with basic living expenses, such as housing, utilities, or groceries.
During the first round of funding, which closed on 3/20, Erie Arts & Culture awarded $13,200 to 45 different individuals. Award amounts ranged from $150 to assist with groceries to $500 to assist with rent. In total, 77 individuals applied for assistance during the first funding round.
The second round of funding is slated to close at 11:59 PM on 3/31. Awards will be prioritized based on impact and urgency. This funding round is intended to bridge the gap between now and when individual federal stipends are disbursed and the self-employed can apply for unemployment (see details about CARES Act below for additional information).
To learn more and apply please visit the link below:
CARES Act Becomes Law
On Friday, the House of Representatives and President Trump passed into legislation a historic stimulus package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or “CARES” Act, which contains an unprecedented $2.2 trillion in total financial relief for businesses, public institutions, and individuals hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many in our sector are wondering how the CARES Act affects them and what relief they can expect. We've highlighted a few of the key points below.
National Endowment for the Arts
In recognition of the arts’ $877 billion contribution to the U.S. economy and a source of 5.1 million American jobs, the National Endowment for the Arts will distribute $75 million in relief aid for creative and cultural organizations in need. For a comprehensive overview please read this article by Americans for the Arts.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
Under the new legislation, gig workers, contract workers, and freelancers will be now eligible for unemployment benefits. This will help many in our sector who operate as independent creative professionals. The next step in the process is for the state legislature to meet to decide how to disburse federal funds for freelance and self-employed individuals during the shutdown.
Small Business Loans
The bill sets aside $350 billion for small business loans up to $10 million, with priority given to women-owned businesses, new businesses and those run by anyone socially and economically disadvantaged. A separate $10 billion in emergency small business grants of up to $10,000 is also set aside.
As the current pandemic continues to affect the creative and cultural sectors across the nation, Erie Arts & Culture is committed to serving as a central source of information during this difficult time. We will continue to provide updates about the CARES Act as they develop. In the meantime, please visit our Emergency Resources for the Creative and Cultural Sector page for funding and relief opportunities.